Politics postsSaturday August 20, 2016
The Naked Donald Statues
Here's Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere on the statues of a naked, teeny-penised Donald Trump that an anarchist group erected in New York, Seattle, et al., this week:
It’s pretty easy to mold a humiliating likeness of a naked Presidential candidate. I’m hardly a Donald Trump supporter and yes, the guy could obviously stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds. (No more Kentucky Fried Chicken or taco bowls.) But what 70 year-old looks good naked? Yes, he deserves to be slapped down and voted down, but this is below the belt. What if somebody were to erect a nude statue of Hillary Clinton in Union Square? You know what the reaction would be.
My thoughts exactly. Also this one: Once again, the anarchists aren't helping. Help, or get off the stage.
Trump's Words are Music to Hezbollah's Ears
“When [Donald Trump's] homegrown American conspiracy theorizing intersects with its Middle Eastern cousin, the results can be damaging and dangerous to America's standing and interests. ... Just this weekend, Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, publicly endorsed Mr. Trump's remarks [about Obama being the founder of ISIS]: 'This is an American presidential candidate. This was spoken on behalf of the Republican Party. He has data and documents.'”
-- Michael Wahid Hanna and Daniel Benaim in a NY Times Op-Ed, “How Do Trump's Conspiracy Theories Go Over in the Middle East? Dangerously.”
'Donald Trump ... A Danger to the Republic'
Over the weekend, the conservative Houston Chronicle issued an early endorsement for Hillary Clinton along with a slew of warnings about the Republican candidate:
Any one of Trump's less-than-sterling qualities—his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance—is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, “I alone can fix it,” should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.
That's key. It's not politics, or not just politics. Temperamentally, Trump is the most ill-equipped man to get this close to the presidency. Let's hope other Republicans, as well as griping, Bernie-or-bust folks, wake the fuck up and ensure that he doesn't get any closer.
It Can't Happen Here
From Jonathan Chait on New York magazine's website:
Amazingly, even as Democrats painted Trump as an authoritarian menace, he continued to confirm the point on the ground. Weeks earlier, Trump's campaign had banned the Washington Post, whose coverage it found objectionable, from campaign events. The ban had only symbolic meaning, though. ... But yesterday, the Trump campaign extended its ban from the symbolic to the real by preventing Post reporter Jose DelReal from entering a public speech by Trump's vice-presidential nominee, Mike Pence. Private security first told DelReal he could not enter the rally with his laptop and phone. DelReal asked if other attendees were allowed to bring phones and was told, “Not if they work for the Washington Post.” DelReal placed the items in his car, returned, was patted down by security, and then still told he could not enter. Later, Pence's staffers insisted it had all been a mistake, blaming overzealous local staffers. This sort of iterative, inconsistent, and even chaotic sequence of events fits a common pattern of how political authoritarians break down rules and norms.
Be afraid. Or better: Keep Calm and Fucking Vote.
My Thoughts Exactly
Jeffrey Toobin on the email hack/scandal at the DNC, potentially orchestrated by the Russians to benefit Donald Trump, which led to the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schutlz:
What was so terrible about the e-mails? In one, a D.N.C. staffer raised the possibility of Sanders being asked about his religious views, though it appears nothing came of the suggestion. In another, D.W.S. referred to a Sanders campaign official who had criticized her as a “damn liar.” A third showed her explicitly criticizing Sanders himself, saying he had “no understanding” of the Democratic Party. (This might be because Sanders has never been elected as a Democrat but, rather, always as an independent who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.)
Do these e-mails strike anyone as appalling and outrageous? Not me. They strike me as . . . e-mails. The idea that people might speak casually or caustically via e-mail has been portrayed as a shocking breach of civilized discourse. Imagine! People bullshitting on e-mail!